We know this because our founder David Olkovetsky, a former steel investor, scoured the market to find the perfect chef’s knife—and realized it simply didn’t exist. He found that even many of the most expensive options were made with low-quality steel, manufactured to meet a bare-minimum standard. Chances are, you've experienced this already—with knives that either dull too fast, or chip too easily.
It’s a familiar situation, whether you’re an avid home cook or a professional chef. Think back to it: You've been cooking for hours. Your feet are getting tired. Your Japanese blade chipped—again. Your heavy German “workhorse” of a knife is smashing your delicate ingredients into smithereens. Your hands are getting calloused from the rough edges on your knife, and your wrist hurts from a less-than-ideal grip.
This is where Artisan Revere steps in.
We did the research, collaborating with renowned chefs, top bladesmiths, artisans, and metallurgists to create the most thoughtfully designed Elmax® Super Steel kitchen knife. The result? An incredibly sharp, thin, and tough knife unlike any other—forged together with the best of cutting-edge technology, ergonomic design, and old-school craftsmanship. A knife that cuts easier, and stays sharp 2.3x longer than Wusthof, and 1.9x longer than Global, Shun, and Misen. A knife made with Elmax, the same steel in everyday carry and hunting knives used by serious hunters and U.S. Special Forces soldiers.
With our knife, you can cut through rock-hard squash without breaking a sweat. Transform a ripe tomato into crisp, even slices, without smashing it all over your cutting board. Slice through beautiful cuts of meat, without the tedious back-and-forth of a dull knife. Leave kitchen hack jobs behind—and experience the Artisan Revere edge.
We don’t call it "Super Steel” just for fun; Artisan Revere knives are made from wear-resistant, chip-resistant, ultra-premium Elmax® Super Steel, which stays sharp drastically longer than the standard kitchen knife. This is a 3rd generation powder steel that’s normally reserved for industrial use, and for everyday carry and tactical knives used by U.S. Special Forces soldiers. Now, you can have it in your own kitchen.
Elmax® Super Steel allows us to create a powerful kitchen knife that’s unlike anything else out there in the market—with a thin, strong, and ultra-sharp blade that slices quickly and easily through any food. Think less time spent on prep work, and more time truly savoring the fruits of your labor.
Simply put, our knives make cooking easy and effortless. But there’s a ton of behind-the-scenes science that’s forged into every knife, from handle to spine to tip.
Artisan Revere's North Star was to create the world's best blades. For us that means six things. Best in class: 1- Cutting Ability, 2- Edge Retention, 3- Toughness, 4- Corrosion Resistance, 5- Balance, 6- Ergonomics. 2,3, and 4 are normally diametrically opposed. But by making steel that has a high alloy content in the world's most advanced powder metallurgy facilities, we can achieve things other blades can't. You get the precision of a razor, and the toughness of an axe, all while maintaining corrosion resistance. Our founder David, tested toughness by chopping pine and oak, and then shaving his face with a knife. (The face is far more sensitive to microchips than tomatoes, grapes, or paper.) Chopping pine and then oak (a denser wood), are methods developed by the famed knife maker, Phil Wilson, for testing a knife's edge toughness and ability to resist torque and torsion. No other cooking blade that we're aware of is both tough enough and acute enough to accomplish that.
1- Extraordinary cutting ability. This is determined by the quality of the apex, the angle and finish of the edge geometry, and the acuteness of the bevel from spine to just behind the edge. The thinner the knife, the better it cuts. The more acute the primary and secondary bevels, the better the knife cuts. For an extremely thin blade, the steel must be extremely tough, with great dimensional stability—to prevent the edge from rolling or dulling.
2- Fantastic edge retention. This is determined by several factors. 1- alloy composition (Vanadium forms some of the hardest carbides), 2- Rockwell hardness, and 3- ability to resist various impacts that could deform the edge. Elmax, at 60RC, has better edge retention than the top of the line Japanese steel, SG-2 at 63RC. SG-2 is Japan's gold standard Powder Steel. Not only is Elmax more wear-resistant (decent proxy for edge retention), but it's also tougher.
3- Superb toughness. 3rd generation powder metallurgy leads to more resistance to chipping and other edge damage—thanks to the cleanliness of the steel, homogeneity, and small size of the carbides.
4- Corrosion Resistance. This is a function of adequate chromium oxide forming a passive layer. Typically, that requires 11-12% chromium, but in higher carbon steels, like say 1.7% C (as in Elmax), much of the chromium pairs up with carbon to form carbides, meaning a higher percentage of chromium must exist to form the passive film. Based on our surveys, the vast majority of knife users don't immediately wash and dry their knives, meaning corrosion resistance is of paramount importance.
5- Balance. A chef knife should be balanced just in front of the handle, to provide a good mix of power and precision. This takes plenty of time and skill to perfect. We not only skeletonize the tang (steel under the handle); we also skeletonize the handle.
6- Ergonomics. A knife should have a sharp edge in only one place: the cutting edge. There is no reason for a heel or bolster to be sharp. There's no reason for a spine not to be rounded off. These little details matter for home cooks or professional chefs who cook for extended periods of time, because they minimize blisters and hot spots. A knife should also be comfortable for large and small hands alike.
Elmax® Super Steel
Elmax, a 3rd generation Swedish powder steel produced by Bohler-Uddeholm, is made with the latest and greatest in powder metallurgy technology. Not only is it about 60% tougher than America's top-of-the-line powder knife steel, and 240% tougher than one of the best non-powder steels; it also provides the double benefit of lower CO2 emissions and improved sustainability. In other words: this stuff is the best steel that we—and anyone else, really—can get our hands on.
Our steel begins in an electric arc furnace, which consumes 9 times less energy than the blast furnaces used for most steel, before it's transformed into a powder. Additionally, fossil fuels make up only 1% of Sweden's overall energy consumption; compare that with Japan, where fossil fuels make up 82% of overall consumption—and where 100% of all steel is made through a blast furnace. That's a whopping 82x reduction in fossil fuel emissions associated with the production of our knives
We could talk for days about powder metallurgy, but we’ll give you the quick-and-dirty rundown. (A visual summary is below.) Powder metallurgy was invented to create high alloy tool steels with superior toughness and wear resistance. We’re talking shock resistance and edge retention, for industrial tools that last longer, perform better, and require less repair.
Molten, particle-sized steel ingots are gas-atomized through a blast of nitrogen, so that the metal instantly solidifies. (More than 99% of steel produced globally uses multi-ton ingots—not the particle-sized ingots we use.) The smaller the ingots, the faster they cool. And in the steel world, faster cooling leads to smaller, more concentrated carbides—and smaller, more concentrated carbides means better consistency and drastically higher toughness. Those particles are then pressed and re-heated in a metal canister to make one solid ingot, for normal processing. You can watch part of the process go down here. Note, there are major differences between 1st, 2nd and 3rd generation PM processes, but the result is that 3rd generation PM steels (like Elmax) have far fewer non-metallic inclusions, and much more consistent carbide distribution, and therefore much more consistent properties.
We know the kitchen can be a whirlwind of elements—from brining liquids to stovetop flames. So we’ve designed our handles to be as resilient as possible, to last through even the busiest kitchen environments.
More reasons to feel good about your perfectly prepped food: The extremely durable materials we use in our handles are Rainforest Alliance Certified™, FSC certified, and GREENGUARD certified. We get our hands on the best materials we can find, with an eye toward sustainability.
Our knives are well-traveled. Here are the key destinations, from our New York office to your kitchen.
With terms like “3rd generation powder metallurgy,” our knife-making process might seem like a bit of rocket science. It all starts with Bohler-Uddeholm, the Austrian-Swedish purveyor of Elmax Super Steel—what we know to be the world's best knife steel.
Our powder steel heads to the United States, where Chris supervises the waterjet cut process to maximize the steel's integrity and guarantee no Heat Affected Zones (HAZ).
Brad then takes our steel through precise heat treatments, followed by deep cryogenic treatments to perfect the hardness of our knives. Once set, John Jr. ensures our knives are bevel ground and surface-ground to within one (1) thousandth of an inch. For comparison, standard printer paper is four (4) thousandths of an inch. (How's that for precision?) Note: Images of Heat Treat and bevel grinding coming shortly.
To create the profile of our knife handles, we use computer numerical controlled (CNC) milling, which allows for drilling and cutting across multiple axes.
Dakota then epoxies and pins our lightweight handles to the tang of the blades (the steel portion of the blade that sits under the handle).
Once our handles are set, Eric grinds the bevels and smooths the handles—all so that our knife feels like a natural extension of your hand.
We then grind in the primary edge:
And finish every blade via a rapid buff:
And finally, a thorough stropping on Chromium Oxide-loaded leather to refine the incredibly sharp edge.
We put every single knife through numerous quality control tests to ensure each knife is truly our best work. Slicing paper makes for a fun test of the cutting edge:
VIDEO: Magazine Paper Cuts Are A Great Gauge of Sharpness; Cutting Folded Magazine Paper is Even Better:
After each knife is complete, we etch the blade with the precise alloy percentages of our Super Steel—so you can know what exactly we’re made of.
Artisan Revere works with a one-of-a-kind team of metallurgists, artisans, and blade smiths with decades of experience. We’re proud to support a manufacturing team that’s based entirely in the United States.
Our Limited Edition: WorkSharp x Artisan Revere E5 comes with:
- A Master Belt Kit that includes one coarse, two medium, one fine, and one extra fine grit belt for all of your sharpening needs.
- A 15 degree per side angle guide, so you get that same great, factory-sharp edge.
- A 20 degree per side angle guide, to bring your Western knives to a factory-sharp edge.
- Edge geometry = 50/50 bevel
- Cutting edge is 15 degrees, ground on slack platen for a bit of a compound bevel
- .010" behind the edge
- .090" spine, with distal taper
- 8.6" blade
- 2.05” tall at heel
- 13.6" OAL
- 165 grams +/- 3 grams
- Handles made from Richlite with G10 liners
- Rounded spine and rounded heel area to ensure no blisters or hot spots
Let’s talk alloy content: Carbon increases steel performance by making it harder and stronger—and at 1.7% carbon, Elmax has three times more than Germany’s most popular knife steel (X50CrMoV15), and 60% more than Japan’s most popular knife steel (VG-10). Elmax’s alloy content also contains 3% vanadium—fifteen times that of German and Japanese steels. The result? A durable steel that will stay sharp, longer.
This is a complete game-changer—because most knife brands out there haven’t figured out how to master both toughness and edge retention. Think about those ultra-thin Japanese kitchen knives, that cut like magic but chip and dull with every movement. Or those “premium” German blades that stay tough, but cut like glorified butter knives. Here's what our knife looks like:
For our earliest supporters: our knifemakers have partnered with us to make custom leather sheaths from the finest English bridle leather.
Every good knife needs a bit of protection from the elements. Our sophisticated 10 oz. English Bridle leather sheaths aren’t just for show; they protect your Super Steel knives, and are made from a smooth, flexible, and durable leather used in everything from classic equestrian gear to high-end leather goods.
Our leather comes from famed tannery Wickett & Craig, and our sheaths fit most chef knives up to 2.125″ tall. They are crafted by the same talented artisans responsible for your new Elmax Super Steel chef knife. You may choose from any of the following colors (top to bottom as seen in the bottom image with four sheaths):
- Medium Brown
With your support, we’ll have the working capital to buy Elmax® Super Steel and our environmentally-friendly Richlite handle materials—at the best possible price point. We’ll also be able to achieve better economies of scale with our American manufacturing partners. We’ll fund production, manufacturing, and development—all to get you a powerful kitchen knife that will wow you with every slice.
Risks and challenges
Here goes: the part where we take a deep breath—and admit we’re not perfect.
We’re delivering the best possible product, made from the best possible materials, with the best possible practices—but even after tending to every detail, some issues are simply out of our control. With partners all across the country, from New York to Idaho, we may run into some inclement weather, equipment challenges or timing issues when we produce our knives, which mean we’ll take a bit longer than usual to reach your doorstep.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)